Total Nutrition Technology
Saturday, August 29, 2015

Health Educator, Stacey Gretka, shares one of her Fall Favorites:

As Autumn is ushered in by cooler mornings, college & fantasy football, and the new school years, we all get just a little bit antsy for the pumpkin-everything that hits the shelves. This post is to help you celebrate the Fall staple without breaking your bank account (or your healthy lifestyle).

The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks has been a seasonal favorite for a long time and the recent reinvention to include real pumpkin piqued my interest. I found this statement by Starbucks to be not only revealing of the company's desire to stay in touch with consumer interests, but to also be revealing of what the general consumer thinks of "Pumpkin Spice." 

Did you know that Pumpkin tastes like squash? It doesn't actually taste like melted honey and butter. It doesn't actually have an aroma of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. No, that's pumpkin pie! Adding real pumpkin to a drink that is actually best known for its pumpkin pie spice-y notes somewhat baffles me. Yes, I will definitely try it, but before then, let me let you in on one of my best kept secrets: there is a healthy way to make this delicious, barista-style coffee at home (and you don't need a fancy cappuccino or espresso maker)! The best part? My version counts as 1/2 Dairy exchange per serving (add 1 Starch exchange if you use 1 Tbsp of a natural sweetener)!

Stacey's DIY Pumpkin Pie Spiced Latte

What you'll need to make about two 16 oz ("Grande") servings:

6 Tbsp of your favorite roast, ground
4 c of water
1 c fat-free milk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can purchase pre-mixed, or mix your own), divided in two
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided in two
1 tsp sugar (optional), divided in two


Step One:

Brew your coffee: You can use a standard coffee maker using 6 Tbsp of ground coffee and 4 c of water as per the directions of your particular model. You can also brew the coffee by bringing the water to a boil in a small saucepan, adding the coffee grounds, covering the saucepan and removing from heat. If you choose this method, wait about 10 minutes, allowing the grinds to settle completely before carefully pouring the coffee off the top. 

Step Two:

Prepare your milk: In a mason jar (or any other container with a lid - I use my single-serving blender cup with closed top), pour 8 fl oz of fat-free milk. Close the lid tightly. Shake the milk until it doubles in size. Unscrew the lid, and microwave for 30-45 seconds or until warm. Watch it carefully, it will continue to expand and a milky overflow makes a pretty sticky mess!

Steamed Milk
Photo Credit: Stacey Gretka

Step Three:

Put it all together: Add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and desired sweetener, if any, to your drinking mugs. Pour equal amounts of steamed milk into the mugs, spoon froth on top. Add coffee to each mug. Give it a quick stir, folding the froth into the coffee, and enjoy! For decorative purposes, you can add an additional sprinkle of pumpkin pie spices to the top and/or pop in a cinnamon stick.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Latte
Photo Credit: Stacey Gretka

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